Much Ado About Nada by Uzma Jalaluddin

June 28th, 2023 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 8 Comments

28th Jun

Sophia Rose is back with a second-chance romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion…Much Ado About Nada by Uzma Jalaluddin. Grab an iced coffee and learn more about this heart-warming contemporary romance.  

Much Ado About Nada by Uzma Jalaluddin
Much Ado About Nada
by Uzma Jalaluddin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

A sparkling second-chance romance inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion...

Nada Syed is stuck. On the cusp of thirty, she's still living at home with her brothers and parents in the Golden Crescent neighbourhood of Toronto, resolutely ignoring her mother's unsubtle pleas to get married already. While Nada has a good job as an engineer, it's a far cry from realizing her start-up dreams for her tech baby, Ask Apa, the app that launched with a whimper instead of a bang because of a double-crossing business partner. Nothing in her life has turned out the way it was supposed to, and Nada feels like a failure. Something needs to change, but the past is holding on too tightly to let her move forward.

Nada's best friend Haleema is determined to pry her from her shell...and what better place than at the giant annual Muslim conference held downtown, where Nada can finally meet Haleema's fiancé, Zayn. And did Haleema mention Zayn's brother Baz will be there?

What Haleema doesn't know is that Nada and Baz have a past--some of it good, some of it bad and all of it secret. At the conference, that past all comes hurtling at Nada, bringing new complications and a moment of reckoning. Can Nada truly say goodbye to once was or should she hold tight to her dreams and find their new beginnings?

Sophia Rose’s Review

A determined bestie determined to draw her friend out of the rut her life is in unwittingly brings her face to face with a handsome and secret past regret.  The vibe is still there even after life took them different directions.  Is there a second chance in Nada’s future?

I was knocked over with satisfaction when I read Uzma Jalaluddin’s debut effort and enjoyed the next one, too.  I had already reached for her latest release without realizing it is a modern tribute to my favorite Jane Austen novel, Persuasion, with a Muslim twist.  I think I went weak at the knees and then got nervous that it wouldn’t live up to my excitement.

I had nothing to worry about.  This latest was a solid, thoughtful and heartwarming contemporary romance that settled Jane Austen’s timeless classic into a Toronto neighborhood with characters, family, religion, and culture that captured me from the beginning.  Although, I should add that this is no isolated romance.  Nada is the focal figure, but her family, who all have struggles get to recognize what they want and see growth in their lives, too.  I loved following Nada’s path, but cheered them all on including her father who was as stuck in his ways as she, in hers.

Nada lives at home with her parents and her two adult brothers- one divorced and depressed and the other wanting independence, but his parents using his Ataxia to hold him close.  She’s a bright engineer with a solid job and gives her mother fits by remaining unmarried and struggles with her brothers under their father’s issues of needing things to stay the same.  There is the push-pull of honoring her parents’ effort to leave their homeland and set up in a new country, but also the need of her generation to set their own path.  Beneath all this, she still mourns two lost dreams.

This was the moment when change came with a big surprise for Nada.  I loved the low key sizzle of attraction between Nada and Baz that was there even in the early moments and scenes of their startling reunion at the Muslim Conference her best friend enrolls her in and she goes because her bestie is soon to be married. 

The story is told in split timelines that gave context to what was going on in the past with Nada and Baz and then start to create a new chance as the more mature and experienced version of themselves could make different decisions than before.  My heart ached for both of them as they worked through the past pain and the author didn’t make it simple or easy with that past and all that is going on around them.

The Persuasion theme of second chance romance and family struggles was strong and written well.  I loved this story better than the earlier ones and was deeply satisfied when the hard path to the end paid off emotionally and triumphantly.  You don’t need to have read or like the classic, but simply be a fan of well-developed, heartwarming contemporary romance to appreciate this second-chancer.

Amazon | Audible

About Uzma Jalaluddin

Uzma Jalaluddin

Uzma Jalaluddin is the author of AYESHA AT LAST (2018), a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in a Toronto Muslim community. Her second novel HANA KHAN CARRIES ON (2021) is inspired by the movie 'You've Got Mail' and set in rival halal restaurants. She also writes a funny parenting column for The Toronto Star and has written for The Atlantic. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons.

caffeinated coffee cup divider

Stay Caffeinated!

Never miss a post by adding Caffeinated to your Inbox

About Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

8 Responses to “Much Ado About Nada by Uzma Jalaluddin”

  1. Ailyn Koay

    Unsubtle pleas … that’s a nice way to put it. The background sizzle is turning into a bonfire or a nice bbq flame ? Asking for a friend (XD)